City Lights Gallery is celebrating the pre-Columbian art of the Taínos.
The “Arte de Taínos” exhibit brings us three events that recognize the rich Taino culture of the Caribbean. This comes together with celebrations marking Independence Day in the Dominican Republic.
Friday, Feb. 25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.. a Latino Poetry Reading features Walter Dionoso, Ana I. Hidrogue, Marianela Medrano Marra, Carlos Mavila, Moises Mercedes, Angel Reyes, and Victor Toyo.
Then, on Sunday, Feb. 27, celebrate Dominican Independence Day with an 11:00 a.m. flag rasing on Lyon Terrace, followed by a light buffet and dance performance. Suggested donation is $5 to benefit both the Dominican American Coaltion and City Lights.
Then, a movie night comes on Friday, March 4. Doors open at 6:30 and the screening begins at 7 with “In the Time of the Butterflies” starring Salma Hayek. Refreshments will be served. Suggested donation is $5.
The Taínos aren’t as well-known as the Mayans or the Aztecs, but they were the indigenous people of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico. Their culture was devastated hundreds of years ago, but today many Caribbean people identify as Taíno. Over 60 percent of Puerto Rican people are thought to have Taíno ancestry, and one professor on the island suggests that these ancestors might have a stronger DNA presence in the population than that from African or Caucasian relatives.
So have the Tainos really vanished? At the end of the current Wikipedia page on this tribe, Antonio de Moya, a Dominican educator, is quoted as saying: “…the [Indian] genocide is the big lie of our history… the Dominican Taínos continue to live, 500 years after European contact.”